La Jolla Real Estate
One of the most beautiful locales in San Diego, the seaside resort community of La Jolla offers everything from great restaurants and theater to snorkeling and rough-water swimming. With over 42,000 residents and 5,700 acres, La Jolla (pronounced La Hoiya) is tucked between the ocean to the west, Interstate 5 to the east, Pacific Beach to the south, and Torrey Pines State Reserve, near Del Mar, to the north. Neighborhoods such as Bird Rock, La Jolla Shores, La Jolla Farms, Mount Soledad, and La Jolla Village, offer homes and rental property that vary from multimillion dollar estates to student housing. La Jolla is one of the most prosperous and expensive realty locations in the nation, but it also offers some of the finest living.
La Jolla Homes for Sale
La Jolla is the site of many well-respected educational institutions, foremost of which is the University of California San Diego (including Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Jacobs School of Engineering, and the UCSD Medical School). In 2006, US News and World Report ranked UCSD as the seventh best school in the country for public university undergraduate programs, but it is best known for its world-class graduate departments in science and engineering. Other La Jolla-based research institutions include Salk Institute, Scripps Research Institute, and the Burnham Institute. There are also fine college prep schools in La Jolla such as La Jolla High School (in the San Diego School District), The Bishop’s School, The Preuss School (part of an effort by UCSD to initiate prep education for disadvantaged kids), and La Jolla Country Day. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography began here in La Jolla in the early part of the twentieth century and remains a strong presence as an oceanographic research institution. The pier is also a popular place for surfers.
While the area was originally developed in 1886, there is disagreement about where the name La Jolla came from. Some say it is related to the Spanish word La Jola or “jewel,” others that it’s a corruption of the sailor’s call “ahoy.” A more likely theory is that La Jolla derives from the Native American word “Woholle”, meaning hole in the mountain, a reference to the caves in the cliffs near La Jolla Cove Park.
Until 1946, when Charles Elliott helped develop the first neighborhoods in La Jolla, the village was mostly made up of small single-family summer cottages along the coast. There was significant expansion in the 1960s which led to planning initiatives in the 1970s that continue today, helping to preserve the small town, resort feel of La Jolla.
Though it is often referred to as “The Village” La Jolla is not a separate town, but part of the city of San Diego. However, La Jollans are active in their community and there is a feeling of La Jolla being distinct from the rest of San Diego, perhaps fostered by its relative seclusion near the beach and the protective cove that is unique for San Diego. The beautiful shoreline attracts many visitors every day taking advantage of the year-round near-perfect weather.
There’s a lot of recreation activities in La Jolla: kayak, snorkel, and swim in La Jolla Cove, walk through the park and watch the seals frolic on the rocks, or take a walk along the sandy shores. There are a number of public beaches and parks for tourists, families, and residents to enjoy, including Wind and Sea Beach, the Children’s Pool Beach, La Jolla Cove, and La Jolla Shores. Further north there is Black’s Beach, the area’s only nude beach. Another popular destination is Mount Soledad which offers a steep bicycle climb and gorgeous views of San Diego and the beaches. It is also the location of the Mount Soledad Cross, a Korean War memorial. A little further north, the glider port, offers the opportunity for skilled hang-gliders to negotiate the cliffs along the beach. It is one of the unique sites of San Diego to see multi-colored hang-gliders circling above the beach and the golf course at Torrey Pines.
Downtown La Jolla offers great shopping in the boutiques, jewelry stores, and upscale markets. You can find anything from accessories to Rolls Royces. La Jolla also has some of the most notable architecture in San Diego with the La Valencia Hotel, which was a popular retreat for Hollywood stars during the silent film era. And the Spanish Mission and Mediterranean style buildings lend the area an old-world ambience. The village of La Jolla is a convenient place to walk around in and enjoy the Southern California atmosphere.
Fine dining abounds in La Jolla, served by restaurants such as George’s at the Cove, Jack’s, and the Marine Room. And a night out on the town can include a play at the La Jolla Theater or a concert with the La Jolla Symphony Orchestra. And there are other local favorites as well, including the Girard Gourmet and Harry's Coffee Shop. Great seafood, Mexican, Italian, Thai, California cuisine, and just about anything else can be found throughout La Jolla from four-star restaurants to small market stands in the village.
La Jolla is also the home of Torrey Pines Golf Course, a municipal public course and the site each February of the Buick Invitational Golf Tournament. It includes beautiful vistas of the Pacific as well as a recently redesigned south course that is a par 72 at 7,607 yards, the longest of any current PGA course. Torrey Pines will be the site of the US Open in 2008 and annually hosts the Junior World Championships in July.
Whether you are single, have a family, retired, or just starting a career, La Jolla offers a beach environment with great schools, shopping, community activity, arts, and entertainment. It is one of the most desired living spaces in California, but retains its own unique feel and its own distinct community events. The beach, the beautiful homes, and the high-end shopping make it a favorite destination for those looking for the best of lifestyles that San Diego has to offer, but also a great place to spend a vacation or a lifetime.